Liverpool will battle Arsenal for Guido Rodriguez, according to reports. The Real Betis midfielder is having an impressive season.
This comes from Estadio Deportivo. They claim Arsenal have their eyes on Guido Rodriguez.
Liverpool now join them in that, however. The Reds want a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum and have ‘followed up’ on Rodriguez with Betis.
The Spaniards are ‘relaxed’ about it all, though, as they’re protected by the player’s £69m release clause. A team may not have to pay that but it allows Betis to name their own price.
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The report does mention how Rodriguez isn’t the only Betis player Liverpool are looking at. Aissa Mandi, a centre-back, is also on their radar.
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But Rodriguez would be the bigger signing. He’s a player who is enjoying his second season in La Liga, sitting top 5 for tackles per game.
The Argentine is top 11 for interceptions, too. Rodriguez is a real midfield enforcer, then.
But is he right for Liverpool? As the report mentions, he’s far more defensive than Wijnaldum, who focuses on an all-around game.
Rodriguez, though, is someone to win the ball back. He’s well below Wijnaldum in pass completion, for instance, so Liverpool could expect something very different with this signing.
And that’s their big decision. Do they want to directly replace Wijnaldum with a similar player? Probably not, in truth, if only because such a player wouldn’t be as good.
Going with a specialist in another area might be the safe option.
But we do have one sticking point, here. Rodriguez turns 27 next month. This wouldn’t be a long-term signing – just someone for the length of his contract.
Depending on the price, that’s not too bad. But this would unmistakably be a ‘win now’ move, rather than an investment for the future.